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Vida, J.E. (2019). Encounters with the Irrational: My Story by André E. Haynal, with an interview by Judit Mészáros, International Psychoanalytic Books, New York, 2017, 173pp.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 79(1):114-116.

(2019). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 79(1):114-116

Book Reviews

Encounters with the Irrational: My Story by André E. Haynal, with an interview by Judit Mészáros, International Psychoanalytic Books, New York, 2017, 173pp.

Review by:
Judith E. Vida, M.D.

Many years ago, David Haynal, then 8 years of age, piped up to say, “Papa, you have had a troubled life, you should write about it” (p. 5).

“Papa” is André E. Haynal, MD, beloved not only to David but to followers of the so-called Ferenczi Renaissance, a European psychoanalyst with distinguished credentials in both clinical and scholarly dimensions, who has long deserved to be far better known in North America. Over a lifetime that now spans eight decades, André Haynal, born in Hungary at a critical time in twentieth century world history, studied philosophy and psychology in Budapest before embarking on a medical career in Zurich, where he trained in neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis. As Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Geneva, he went on to hold major political and administrative offices in European psychoanalytic organizations, in addition to pursuing his own scientific work that now comprises many volumes and a multitude of articles and presentations. He was a key member of the committee established after the death of Michael Balint to oversee the eventual publication of the complete correspondence between Freud and the pioneering Hungarian psychoanalyst, Sándor Ferenczi, Freud's self-admitted “favorite disciple.”

From this unique vantage point, André Haynal has been both pawn and witness to political forces that sent him scrambling for survival through war, revolution, occupation, and persecution.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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